Product Publicity, Much More Than a Press Release
Content is king on the internet. There’s no disputing that. And cyber-clutter makes the need for a professional product publicist more important today than ever before. He or she must be creative in describing a product’s features and benefits as well as illustrating how the product can solve problems, understand markets, channels of distribution, and much more.
“There’s a huge difference between writing and distributing a press release and preparing proper publicity materials,” says Steve Stroum, president of Venmark International, Wellesley, MA, the leading product publicity firm. A press release by definition is: information supplied to reporters for them to make known to the public. So, why will reporters choose to publish one press release over another? A reporter or editor will choose to publish one press release over another based upon the presentation, relevance, and the reliability of their source.
Al Ries, the co-author of The Fall of Advertising & the Rise of PR noted, a product publicist stimulates the interest of editors. Given that news provides tremendous exposure and credibility for the manufacturer or distributor of a product being described by an editor, ask yourself the question: why get the exposure in the first place? The best answer was also given by Al Ries & Laura Ries who wrote, “Perception is everything. The only question is how to create a favorable impression in the customer’s mind. And advertising has racked up a poor track record in this respect.” Readers are much less likely to believe an advertisement.
The importance of using news releases to stimulate interest in your products and to help influence where your products show up in searches is critical. This is because of the linkpopularity resulting from being published in quality websites. Google’s PageRank Technology is based on the idea that the best way to find relevant information is to prioritize search results not by the characteristics of a document but by the number of websites that are linking to it. (Source: Wikinomics, Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams, Penguin Group, ©2008).
Regarding content on the internet, in his book, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR,” David Meerman Scott, wrote, “Don’t just send news releases when big news is happening; find good reasons to send them all the time.” “At Venmark International, sending news releases out for our clients consistently with remarkable content has been the basis for our business model and success since 1977. Editors recognize the quality of our news releases,” added Stroum.